Monthly Archives: September 2011
BY ALEX P. VIDAL
We mourn the passing away of Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) Executive Secretary Shigeru Kojima. I personally remember Secretary Kojima as the one responsible for giving me license to officiate as professional boxing referee and judge in Japan from 2000 to 2004.
As a license holder of the JBC, I was able to officiate Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) fights under different promoters in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kanazawa, Kobe, among other Japanese Perfectures.
Meanwhile, here’s the official statement from the World Boxing Council (WBC) released by President Dr. Jose Sulaiman Chagnon dated September 26, 2011 from the WBC Headquarters in Mexico City: “The WBC expresses, with profound regret, the passing away of one of the best boxing commissioners that ever lived, Shigeru Kojima, who was the executive secretary of the Japan Boxing Commission for decades and a voting member of the Board of Governors for a quarter century. He never missed a WBC annual world convention until the day that he retired from boxing.
“I held Mr. Kojima in the highest esteem, as did every one of the members of the WBC Board of Governors, especially years ago when my position, held for almost 36 years, was threatened by members of the NABF after the crisis created by the heavyweight world championship fight between Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas, who defeated him. Mr. Kojima was in the hospital after a serious surgery, but went directly to the airport in Narita, Japan, to attend and bring Asia’s fullest support to me.
“The WBC is declaring three days of mourning for a man of integrity, total dedication to boxing, loyalty, perseverance in his struggle for the safety of the sport, and for having been such a decent and great friend.
“The WBC extends its sympathy to Mr. Kojima’s family, to the Japan Boxing Commission, and to boxing in all Japan, hoping that allmighty God will bring prompt resignation to such a profound sorrow.”
Rest in peace, Kojima san!
BY ALEX P. VIDAL
Most fight fans would love to watch Manny Pacquiao (53-3, 38 KOs, 2 draws) colliding with Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KOs) soon than Pacquiao honoring his trilogy against Juan Manuel Marquez on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Pacquiao-Mayweather tussle has been long overdue; fans have been rioting for the dream showdown since 2009, and Bob Arum, 79, was too smart to delay it for reasons he and his negotiating subordinates only know.
This explains why Mayweather got few sympathizers when he dismantled in four rounds careless Victor Ortiz (29-3, 22 KOs) for the WBC 147-lb championship last September 17 in Las Vegas.
Fans did not only want Mayweather to win in that controversial manner, they wanted Mayweather to lose in a humiliating fashion.
Most of them have blamed the 34-year-old unbeaten speedster from Nevada why his duel with the 32-year-old Filipino lefty got mothballed for more than two years. They thought Mayweather has been avoiding Pacquiao like a leper and his trips to police station and court rooms these past months to answer the criminal raps lodged against him by his wife and those he had allegedly violated, were already his karma for denying them the chance to watch him perform against the Filipino lawmaker-cum-jawbreaker in a super blockbuster entertainment.
What those impatient fans didn’t know was that Mayweather had nothing to do whatsover with his thrice aborted showdown against Pacquiao. While it is true that Pacquiao had hauled Mayweather to court for badmouthing him and accusing him of taking performance enhancing drugs in his previous fights, not many people knew that the brouhaha could be part of the “grand script.”
The script is to divert the fans’ attention to Mayweather’s mayhem outside the ring and whip up animosity between the Team Pacquiao and the Team Mayweather so that the thirst and excitement of fans will accelerate and reach at fever-pitch.
The script managed to picture Mayweather as villain and Pacquiao as Knight in Shining Armor. While media played up Pacquiao’s humanitarian and civic activities by helping typhoon victims in the Philippines and appearing in the cover story of the Time magazine plus his scintillating wins against erstwhile ring celebrities turned patsies like Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley, Mayweather was busy making appearances in the police rogue’s gallery for maltreatment and other criminal offenses.
And when Ortiz was tapped to risk his WBC welterweight tiara versus the contrabida Mayweather, fans rooted for the 5-1 underdog defending titlist Ortiz as their way of showing displeasure to the overbearing and thrash-talking black fighter.
Despite a long hiatus and rumors of injuries suffered during the period of his inactivity, Mayweather destroyed Ortiz in the fourth stanza of a 12-round title fight billed as his tune-up outing in preparation for a possible meeting with Pacquiao in May 2012.
Their disdain for Mayweather was so elaborate that even if it was crystal clear that he put to sleep the 24-year-old southpaw from Oxnard, California with legal punches, they ribbed him with criticism for being “unsportsmanlike.”
Had Ortiz scored an upset win, fans wouldn’t mind; they would still keep on badgering Uncle Bob to expedite the Mayweather vs Pacquiao match and throw their money behind Pacquiao.
But Mayweather disappointed them. He is now back in the pedestal of boxing immortals as WBC crownholder even without having swapped mitts versus Pacquiao. With his impressive KO win over Ortiz, Mayweather can now demand for a higher purse and give Uncle Bob more headache in the negotiating table.
Pacquiao’s Nov. 12 appointment with 38-year-old Marquez (53-5, 39 KOs, 1 draw) on the other hand, is a must win. He needs to close the curtains of their epic rivalry with an impressive victory so that when Pacquiao reports for work versus Mayweather next year, oddsmakers will install him as solid favorite.
Meanwhile, whatever Mayweather wants now, Mayweather gets.
And even if he will ask for a $60 million purse to fight the pound-for-pound king from General Santos City, Uncle Bob will have to cross the bridge or lose the last chance to give the boxing world its biggest and most prestigious match in history.
Pacquiao’s patience will finally bear fruits as he is planning to retire after the Mayweather assignment. He needs to first settle his problem with Marquez and establish another record in fight business by facing the most controverisial boxer to ever grace the lightweight and welterweight divisions in his farewell bout.